Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto recently went on a two-day visit to California, where he discussed the need for immigration reform in the U.S. According to the Associated Press, the president met with California Gov. Jerry Brown and the two talked about the historical and cultural ties that are shared between the U.S. and Mexico.
The president reportedly said that people who object to diversity and inclusion will be proven wrong.
“We want to be a factor of cohesion, not division, with full respect for the sovereignty of the United States,” President Pena Nieto said in his speech Aug. 25. “This, at the end, is about – and only about – a matter of justice for those who contribute so much to the development of the American society.”
Gov. Brown signed a bill in 2013 permitting immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses. He did so after visiting an artichoke field in Monterey, California, where the immigrant workers shouted “licencia, licencia” as he walked by.
“It wasn’t very long ago that the governor of California was outlawing driver’s licenses for people who were undocumented from Mexico,” Brown said in the joint speech. “That’s not the law anymore.”
In 1994, immigrants were discriminated against when voters in California passed Proposition 187, which banned undocumented immigrants from having access to health care and education. According to the AP, the law was eventually reversed.
Brown has been an advocate for immigrant rights. He hosted a luncheon in the Mexican president’s honor on Aug. 26 after which President Pena Nieto spoke in front of the California State Legislature.
During his speech, President Pena Nieto criticized a number of unnamed governors he considered to be unethical by passing laws that are tough on immigrants, the AP reported.
“There are still states that have not evolved so much as California, that still skimp on recognition and, even worse, the rights of immigrants,” he told the legislature. “Those who still believe and bet for the exclusion and discrimination or the rejection of diversity … I only have one thing to say: the future, and a very near future, will demonstrate your ethical mistake. Time will show we’re right.”